David Hemphill

David Hemphill is Professor Emeritus in the Graduate College of Education at San Francisco State University, having worked there as a faculty member for over 35 years. His research and teaching interests include international and multicultural education, cultural studies, critical theory, postmodern and postcolonial theory, popular culture and popular music, adult education, literacy, second language acquisition, and research methods. He received the Imogene Okes Research Award of the American Association for Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education for his adult literacy research. While at the university he led the development of two doctoral programs, pioneered multiple international initiatives, worked as a visiting scholar in Poland, Thailand, and Japan, and served as Department Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, and Associate Dean. Prior to coming to the university, Hemphill worked for a decade as an English language teacher and program director in community-based organizations in Oakland and San Francisco serving adult Asian immigrants and refugees. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Asian Languages from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in Bilingual Education and Ed.D. in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. He was brought up in Tokyo and Washington, DC and speaks several Asian and European languages. He is also a trombonist and musical arranger.

Books by David Hemphill:

Opening Third Spaces for Research in Education
Challenging the Limits of Technocratic Methods
Opening Third Spaces for Research in Education challenges dominant educational research methods. It rejects the reductive binaries normalized in social science research—theory/practice, objective/subjective, quantitative/qualitative. Drawing from multiple fields and eras, the book opens third spaces between these artificial poles to help researchers expand interpretations and possibilities for research. Critiquing the current focus on the measurement of “student learning outcomes” and high-stakes assessment, the book offers conceptual tools and case examples to support educators in reconceptualizing research. The book critiques the modernist notion that learning is an individual mental process of acquiring knowledge or skills. It argues instead that learning is inextricably entangled with social relations and cannot be isolated or controlled no matter how scientifically rigorous researchers try to be in their study designs. This challenges the current goal of educational research instruction to design “valid and reliable” studies that provide evidence for “best practices,” and reimagines it as opening third spaces to expand opportunities and approaches for inquiry.
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